Kristin M. Harris, Toronto, Ontario:
I have a little more info on Shad Valley, which seems like an excellent way to introduce girls to science and tech as a school and career choice. My sister, who is a Cadet, just came back - the program is run at universities across Canada (off the top of my head, I know that you can go to: University of New Brunswick, Carleton, U. of British Columbia, Waterloo, Acadia, U of Calgary (? - the univ. in Calgary, anyhow), Trent, etc.)
Most students who apply get sponsored by a company, which subsidizes the one month on campus, plus guarantees you a job for the next month. If you don't get sponsored, then you just go to the one month on campus. It's gr. 11, 12, and (I think) 13 students. My sister had a blast, and she did all kinds of neat science-y and business-y things that she'd never otherwise get the chance to do (in high school, at least). She's also now working for Bell mobility (cellular phone company) with the Engineering department until August.
It's also given her a better idea of what areas in science and technology interest her the most for the future. Just from talking to her, it seems like a very worthwhile leadership program in the sciences.
I know this isn't Guiding-related, but I thought that, as a potential training ground for girls in the sciences, it's definitely one that warranted a little further discussion. And perhaps, as outreach to Guide and Pathfinder aged girls, leaders could ask girls who have gone to Shad (or any comparable programs) to come in and talk about what they learned, and also to use these girls as resources for different badges, program requirements, etc. I think that the best ways to get our girls comfortable and excited about the sciences is to introduce them in a fun, challenging and non-school related way. Maybe using our teenaged members (as well as Guiders with experience also, of course) is a great way to get started.
Jennifer Walker, Pathfinder Guider, Provincial Link Adviser, Trainer (LDP, CI, Music), Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:
What I particularly remember, is that the "Shads" really are a network...she made contact in Edmonton afterwards with others who had attended the same program at U of C, even in different years, or had gone to other locations - they were all "Shads" and had "Shad reunions" etc. I think there's even a newsgroup "can.shad-valley" or something like that.
Just looked up the Shad valley program - there's an alumni site with info about the program at <http://www.shads.org/>